LIBERIA: JPC, Carter Center Hold First 2019 Retreat in Lofa

The Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (JPC) and Carter Center (TCC) have held their first 2019 regional retreat in Voinjama City, Lofa County.

The three-day retreat convened at the Village Development Fund (VDF) training center on the outskirts of Voinjama City.

In remarks, JPC National Director, Father McDonough, said the exercise was intended to enable the two institutions review their activities under the Access to Justice Program in Liberia.

Father McDonough disclosed that at these retreats, which are normally held in Monrovia, the JPC and Carter Center look at the goals, objectives and expectations of their projects and the implementation plans.

On achievements of the ‘Access to Justice’ Program, Father McDonough said the JPC has been able to resolve a total of 11,000 cases across Liberia.

He cited the lack of interest by some citizens to continue their cases as one of the major challenges facing the JPC Community Justice Advisory.

Some key documents reviewed during the central regional retreat include the Land Rights Act of 2018 with emphasis on Private Land ownership, Understanding Mediation Procedure, Role of a Mediator, Decent Work Bill or Law-contract and Functions of Magisterial Courts with emphasis on the roles of court staff, and the Local Governance Act.

Others include the Criminal Justice System; Bail Bond Calculation, Understanding Conflict and Peace and the Criminal Conveyance of Land Act.

For more than 10 years, the Carter Center and JPC have worked to build peace and prevent violence by helping the government ensure justice for all Liberian citizens, not just those who can afford it.

Studies have shown that at the end of the war in 2003, the justice system was in ruins and its credibility in tatters.

The lack of human, material, and financial resources severely hampered the administration and delivery of the justice system in Liberia.

The Carter Center and JPC have since 2006 implemented an Access to Justice Project to help address the critical needs, particularly focusing on historically marginalized rural communities.

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